Don't ask me why I'm posting this at three-thirty in the morning. It's a combination of boredom and playing follow the leader with everyone else's blog posts. Anyway, I've decided to make my first update in about 6 months that of my favorte game picks of 2008. It was an awesome years for gaming despite the crippling economic recession, and if you could still afford to finance your gaming obsession and had the time (which, despite being on a college budget and time management plan, I somehow accomplished), then you were in for some treats.
These are the games I've played this year that will be making my list of the creme-de-la-creme of this year's games. Note that some may have come out in 2007, but because I physically purchased them and played this this year, I'm putting them in here. Note that I'll be picking up Fallout 3 tomorrow and The World Ends With You, and those will doubtless end up on here in post editing in the future. Anyways, I'll break these down by categories, and then if there are any notable mentions leftover, they'll come afterwards. This post isn't going to get fully completed tonight, but it will be finished by tomorrow.
Jay's Favorite Games of 2008
Best Music/Rhythm Game: Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock
Legends of Rock was my first Guitar Hero game, and my first venture into the burgeoning Rhythm game genre. It was an epically amazing way to begin. 99% of the main setlist is made up of great music,and the bonus songs have their fair share of wonders. This game has turned me onto so many great bands; Lacuna Coil, Heart, the list could go on and on. It also contains tracks from many of the bands I already loved like Metallica and The Rolling Stones. The GHIII Guitar Controller is the best guitar controller I've ever used with either Rock Band or Guitar Hero games, hands down. Battle Mode was stupid but the actual battle songs written for the game were very enjoyable. Being forced to deal with the harder difficulty of the game made me easily prepared for ventures like Rock Band and GHII, and I'm now playing Hard/Expert on GHIII, which makes me pretty darn happy. This game is going to be staying on my Now Playing list for a very, very long time.
Best Platformer: Braid
What can be said about this little Old School Throwback Platformer That Could? The storyline is minute but more deep and thought provoking than most 70 Hour RPGs. The gameplay, though seemingly simple, is actually satisfyingly complex and forces you to think in new ways about how platformers can work. The artwork is gorgeous and plays a brilliant homage to the game's obvious predecessor: Super Mario. And though you have to work for the ending sequence by collecting every single puzzle piece, it's worth it, because the last level? Left me utterly flabbergasted and shocked to contemplate the true message that was trying to be sent. Part Game, Part Artwork, Part Existential Philosophy: Braid is not a game to be missed. Pick it up already, it's not like it's expensive, and you'll get much more pleasure out of it than any 60+ dollar reiteration of that same sports franchise you were going to buy.
Best RPG: Fallout 3
Best FPS: BioShock
This scared the s**t out of me, but also left me breathless. I was never much into FPS until I picked this up because I just couldn't get the double analog stick movement down right. But BioShock looked so good that I was determined to figure out how to work it, and now I can actually play and enjoy FPS. Thanks BioShock! That's not the only thing I have to thank this game for; Rapture's design is amazing and makes me feel both nostalgic and utterly creeped out. The Splicers are nasty little buggers, creepy when charging at you and even creepier when you can hear their voices in close vicinity but can't see where they are. The various gene tonics are fun as hell to use, I loved setting Splicers on fire and felt a little triumphant thrill whenever they burst into flames. The storyline was fabulous, although some of the twists you could see coming (though some of them you definitely couldn't.) This game made me both able to play FPS and stomach horror games, mostly because it was so brilliant that any misgivings I had about the two genres were overblown by Bioshock's pure amazingness
Best Action/Adventure: Grand Theft Auto IV
Best Fighting Game: Super Smash Brothers Brawl
Best Overall Game of 2008: Fallout 3
Other Notable Mentions:
The World Ends With You
No More Heroes